By American Songwriter

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SongWriter is a podcast of stories and answer songs, featuring performances from Roxane Gay, Joyce Carol Oates, Gary Shteyngart, Sarah Jaffe, Michael Ian Black, Ted Leo, Susan Orlean, and many others.

Episode Date
Dodai Stewart + Natalia Zukerman
Dodai Stewart tells a story about destiny, choice, and tarot cards that she wrote specially for SongWriter, and slide guitarist Natalia Zukerman performs her song “Storm Cloud Rising,” and talks about her own recent tangles with fate.
Jul 07, 2020
Soman Chainani + Cave Twins
Author of the bestselling School for Good and Evil series (which is currently becoming a Netflix show), Soman Chainani, reads a children’s story he wrote for SongWriter, about an evil bear that eats children. David Mayfield and Abby Rose, who perform as Cave Twins, perform their song, “Mighty Mountain Monster,” and talk about how America’s political divisions inform their art.
Jun 23, 2020
Malachy McCourt + Louise Cairns
Malachy McCourt is the 87 year-old brother of Pulitzer Prize-winning memoirist Frank McCourt, who wrote Angela’s Ashes about their childhood in Ireland. Malachy tells a story about a walk he and his father took together when he was a small boy, and Scottish songwriter Louise Cairns performs her response song, “Baby Rocks.”
Jun 09, 2020
Season Two Preview
This is a preview for the second season of SongWriter, the podcast of stories and "answer songs." This season will feature stories from Joyce Carol Oates, Soman Chainani, and Michael Ian Black, and songs written in response by Sarah Jaffe, Cave Twins, Tony Trischka, and Drew Holcomb.
May 12, 2020
Jonathan Lethem + Cindy Lee Berryhill (Bonus Episode!)

Novelist and MacArthur "Genius Grant" award-winner Jonathan Lethem reads his story "Vivian Relf," and songwriter Cindy Lee Berryhill performs a song written in response.

Nov 26, 2019
Anna North + Miss Eaves

Novelist and journalist Anna North reads two pieces of flash fiction, "The Machine" and "Cheese Baby," and rapper and filmmaker Miss Eaves performs a song written in response the second piece. The two friends also discuss how they met, and their reaction to each others' work.

Nov 12, 2019
Patricia Lockwood + Sasha Dobson

Patricia Lockwood reads a chapter from her bestselling memoir, Priestdaddy, about a hunting trip, a disgusting motel room, and her brother, the "Poop Jentleman." Sasha Dobson performs her song, "Cross on My Heart," inspired by Patricia's writing, and about her own father. The show was recorded at a live performance at Joe's Pub in New York City.

Oct 29, 2019
Aura Hernandez + Denise Reis

Aura Hernandez has been living in a church on the Upper West Side for more than a year. She tells the story of how she came to take sanctuary in the church, and about her hopes for the future. Brazilian songwriter Denise Reis performs a song written in response to Aura's life story.

Oct 15, 2019
Rita Mullaney + Byron Isaacs

Retired police captain Rita Mullaney tells a story about two dislocated people who secretly lived for years in New York City police precincts, and veteran musician Byron Isaacs shares a song he wrote in response.

Oct 01, 2019
Kurt Andersen + Vienna Teng

Public radio's Kurt Andersen reads from his critical history of America, Fantasyland. He tells the story of colonist Anne Hutchinson and the singular religious rebellion she started, which led to her eventual banishment and death.

Vienna Teng plays a song written in response, using a looper pedal and backwards vocals to depict an argument between the complex truth and simplistic jingoism.

Sep 17, 2019
Rick Moody + Xenia Rubinos

Bestselling author Rick Moody reads a chapter from his novel Hotels of North America, about love, marriage, and an unfortunate wardrobe malfunction. Xenia Rubinos talks about transience on tour, and plays her answer song, "Three Stars."

Sep 03, 2019
Roxane Gay + Aya Aziz

Bestselling author Roxane Gay reads her short story "Baby Arm" at a live performance at the Strand Bookstore in NYC. Songwriter and playwright Aya Aziz performs "Push" written in response, and talks about how she came to write the song.

Aug 20, 2019
Joyce Carol Oates + Ted Leo

In the fifth episode of SongWriter, legendary author Joyce Carol Oates reads "Deceit," from her collection Black Dahlia & White Rose, about a young mother dealing with allegations of abuse made about her teenage daughter. Badass songwriter Ted Leo talks about his reaction to the story and reflects on his own history of abuse, and shares his song "Deceit," which was written in response.

Aug 06, 2019
Dolan Morgan + Emily Hope Price

Brooklyn author and illustrator Dolan Morgan reads a story called "The New Middle Class," and cellist Emily Hope Price plays a song she wrote in response. Price talks about the recent loss of a friend, and how that loss informed the song, also called "The New Middle Class."

Jul 23, 2019
Deborah Copaken + Tommy Siegel

In the third episode of SongWriter, Deborah Copaken reads an excerpt of her upcoming book Ladyparts, and Tommy Siegel (of Jukebox the Ghost) performs his song "Dear Science," which he wrote in response.

Jul 09, 2019
Gary Shteyngart + Elissa LeCoque

Gary Shteyngart reads from his novel Lake Success, about the flame out and subsequent freak out of hedge fund manager Barry Cohen, and Elissa LeCoque shares her song written in response, "Weak Wrists."

Jun 25, 2019
Susan Orlean + Ben Arthur

This is the first episode of SongWriter, featuring a story from bestselling author Susan Orlean, and a song written in response by host Ben Arthur. Ben and Rob Reinhart, of the syndicated radio program Acoustic Cafe, introduce the series and briefly discuss inspiration and answer songs.

Jun 11, 2019

SongWriter is a podcast of stories and answer songs, with episodes featuring Roxane Gay, Joyce Carol Oates, Susan Orlean, Ted Leo, Jonathan Lethem, and many others.

May 07, 2019
SongWriter is a podcast of stories and answer songs, with episodes featuring Roxane Gay, Joyce Carol Oates, Susan Orlean, Ted Leo, Jonathan Lethem, and many others.]]>
May 07, 2019